What is the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration?
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (The Decade) is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature.
Ecosystems are the foundation of life here on Earth. They provide habitat for millions of species, act as natural carbon sinks, and are a source of food and resources for our growing population. Ecosystems underpin the survival of our planet, but we have failed to protect these delicate spaces — until now.
The Decade runs from 2021 through 2030 and calls on everyone to help prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. Scientists have identified the next ten years as our last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change and time is of the essence. Prioritizing ecosystem restoration is critical to counteract climate change, halt the collapse of biodiversity, and achieve a more sustainable future for everyone.
How’s tentree involved?
We’re excited to announce that tentree and veritree are official Actors for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. As an ‘Actor for The Decade,’ we’re bringing the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from our reforestation projects to this monumental movement. In addition to being a UN Decade Actor, we’re proud to be a part of both the Best Practices and Monitoring Task Forces.
As part of the Best Practices Task Force, we will help shape the knowledge component of the Decade. We will help explore the capacity for development efforts and share and disseminate good practices for restoration in all types of ecosystems.
When we look at the decade ahead, it’s important to understand that restoration is not only about planting trees. Ecosystem restoration aims to achieve both environmental and socioeconomic objectives. As a member of the Monitoring Task Force, we will help tackle the challenges of monitoring restoration projects, support restoration interventions, and monitor and evaluate the success of socio-economic aspects.
Why is global restoration critical in the next ten years?
Ecosystems and their degradation through over-exploitation, pollution and other impacts pose an existential threat to humanity. Forests, grasslands, croplands, wetlands, savannahs, and other terrestrial to inland water ecosystems, marine and coastal ecosystems, and urban environments — all of them are in dire need of some level of protection and restoration.
Restoring our natural world brings with it a long list of benefits for both us and the planet. Here are just a few cited by The Decade.
- Restoration is critical if we are to stay below 1.5°C of warming. Healthy ecosystems such as forests, mangroves, and peatlands act as carbon sinks, absorbing up to one-third of CO2 emissions.
- Restoring coastal and marine ecosystems can help protect and bring back some of the richest biodiversity hotspots on Earth. These ecosystems also provide storm protection, fisheries and carbon storage.
- Protecting and restoring ecosystems can save 1 million animal and plant species currently threatened by extinction.
- Healthy soils can store more nutrients and produce higher quality plants, allowing the world to feed our growing population—9 billion people expected by 2050—without cutting down more forests.
- Restoring 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030 presents a boost to rural economies—worth US$9 trillion in ecosystem services—and contributes to alleviating poverty.
How can I get involved?
This global movement calls on everyone, including you, to do their part to help prevent a climate catastrophe by getting involved in ecosystem restoration. The UN Decade is building a strong global movement to ramp up restoration that will include building political momentum for restoration as well as thousands of initiatives on the ground.
No action is too small when it comes to building a sustainable future over the coming decade. Whether you’re educating yourself and your circle of friends on the importance of restoration, supporting grassroots efforts in your community, or making an effort to ensure your everyday habits are more sustainable, it all adds up to a better future. We need to care about ecosystems if we have any chance of saving them, and there’s no time to waste.
Check out the UN Decade’s website for ideas and inspiration around how you can get involved.